Updated: 06 Sep 2009
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Kiefer, Creek County, OK
July 21, 1916
In Memoriam - Died at his home in our city Thomas J. McAndrews, aged fifty-three.
It was the editors good fortune to have known him long and well, and we only knew him to esteem him more highly as the years passed by. Today we miss his kindly smile and friendly greeting; we long in vain to hear his ring of jovial laughter and to feel again his genial prescence. Only today we sat before the bier in the church near the scene of his labors and happy days.
We stood by the open grave as the last sad rites were performed by his fellow brother Masons, and as the clay of earth closed above his silent resting place, we said with the poet:
"Not dead, but sleeping." "Night came releasing him from labor - When a hand out of darkness Touched him and he slept."
The funeral services were held at the M.E. church at twelve o'clock (midnight)Wednesday by the Oklahoma Consistory Number One, Scottish Rite Masons, with Acting Wise Master Frank Greer, of Guthrie, officiating and paying a beautiful and impressive tribute to the deceased. The ceremony conducted was beautiful and impressive bringing out that great thought that he that doeth all things well, makes no mistakes. The human link snapped asunder is forged anew in Heaven. On Thursday afternoon the A.F.&A.M. Blue Lodge held their service with Mat Shoptaw, Worshipful Grand Master in charge. They conveyed to their listeners the true meaning of brotherly love and that death was only the sleeping of the outer body. The casket was covered with the most beautiful floral designs loving fingers ever wrought, all of which spoke of peace, purity and immorality. The music rendered was such as to soften all hearts and to misten all eyes. At the close of the service.
Thursday an unsual large procession followed the funeral car to our city of the dead at Sapulpa. At the open gate we say "farewell." May God's purest angels guard his slumbers.
He was a devoted husband and a kind and indulgent father and to his friends the soul of fellowship. But the greatest of all, he was a man. And as a man, it is those who knew him most love to contemplate him. He believed in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
To the wife, three daughters and son I would say: that poet nor artist has never been able to portray the grave colors of brightness and beauty. Bryant, in the "Hymn of Death" could not make the subject beautiful; and yet the cemetery with its marble and its dead, the chair that has no occupant, the fancied echo of the silent voice, and the vacant place in the home, social and lodge life, are mellowing and uplifting to their influence. They bring the best of human nature into the fullness of vigor crowding back the sefishness and imperiousness of men, and impressing them with the duty of recognition of the value of friendship. It is the gloom of the church yard that reveals to us more clearly the beauty of life. It is the broken ties at the grave that prompts us to a fuller appreciation of the tenderness of the ties that are not yet broken; and so while we mourn the loss of our dead we may rejoice that there is no light behind it, no sorrow so poignant that there is not a balm in the ____ ________.
Source: OKBits [Dec 2001]